May 25, 2012
MADISON, Wis. - "What a roller coaster," Alaina Trgovich, a part of the 2012 Wisconsin women's tennis graduating class, said when asked to summarize her tennis career.
After spending her freshman year at the University of Kentucky, Trgovich transferred to Wisconsin. In her first dual match as a Badger, however, the Munster, Ind., native tore her ACL, bringing an end to her season.
After recording 28 wins in her freshman campaign at Kentucky, Trgovich was forced to sit out the 2009 season with a medical redshirt.
A competitive Trgovich was determined to beat her injury, though.
And that she did.
In her three seasons of competition at UW, Trgovich went on to register 103 victories.
"I've been really up and down this whole time, but knowing that I could overcome and end on a positive note, I couldn't ask for more," she said. "I'll take that along with me."
Of those 103 victories, Trgovich's most impressive win came late in her senior season. In Wisconsin's April 15 upset of then-No. 47 Indiana, she recorded her first career victory over a ranked opponent by knocking off No. 65 Leslie Hureau, 6-4, 1-6, 6-2.
"I think that's the best I've ever played since I've come back from my injury," Trgovich said after the match.
After starting the 2011-12 season at No. 4 singles, Trgovich worked all the way up to the No. 1 spot, where she competed throughout the entire Big Ten season. She also competed at the top doubles spot in 44 of her last 47 matches throughout the 2011 and 2012 dual seasons.
Her accomplishments have not gone unnoticed as she was named a second-team All-Big Ten honoree this season and was selected as the team's MVP in 2012.
Additionally, Trgovich, who has already received a psychology degree and is working toward a master's degree in rehabilitation psychology and special education, has earned a host of academic awards.
In 2010, Trgovich earned a trio of accolades including Academic All-Big Ten, UW Athletic Board Scholar and ITA Scholar Athlete honors. While at Kentucky, she was named to the SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll and National Society of Collegiate Scholars.
Having dealt with her own season-ending injury, Trgovich hopes to help other athletes who experience similar setbacks.
"Taking away what I've learned from my whole injury, I want to use that to help other people," she said. "I want to help them have a good time adjusting even though it's going to be difficult."
Alaina's father, Pete, played basketball at UCLA under the legendary John Wooden and she lives by one of Wooden's messages.
"Be more concerned with your character than your reputation because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are."